Trump praises ‘very smart’ Putin on sanctions response

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NEW YORK, Dec 31 (APP): US President-elect Donald Trump  on Friday lauded Russian President Vladimir Putin as “very  smart” for not retaliating against the U.S. for new American  sanctions unveiled this week.

“Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was  very smart!”, Trump tweeted Friday.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama ordered a series of  new sanctions against Russia as well as the expulsion of 35  Russian diplomats, accusing them of being spies.

However, Putin decided not to expel US diplomats in reprisal,  saying he would rather wait to work with the Trump administration  to solve the issue.

Trump’s tweet soon made the rounds on the internet and was retweeted by the Russian Embassy in the US.

The new sanctions came in retaliation for what the White  House and the US intelligence community claim to be Russia’s  hacks of Democratic operatives and groups during the recent  presidential election.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has reportedly  determined in a secret assessment that the Kremlin interfered  in the November 8 election to particularly help Trump defeat  his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Russia and Trump have both denied the accusations, with  Putin saying that the US should either provide evidence or stop  the allegations.

On Thursday, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) provided technical details about the tools and cyber infrastructure they said Russian civilian and military intelligence
services used for the hack attack, code named Grizzly Steppe.

The document said the cyber attack was carried out to  ‘compromise and exploit networks and endpoints associated with  the US election, as well as a range of US government, political,  and private sector entities.’

However, it did not mention by name the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta,
whose emails were hacked and released during the campaign.

WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website that published the  emails, has made it clear that a whistle-blower inside the  DNC was behind the leaks and Russia had nothing to do  with them.

Obama’s move in slapping new sanctions on Russia was  hailed by Republican heavyweights like Senators Lindsey Graham  and John McCain. Trump, however, criticized the US claims and said  it was time to ‘move on.’